Although proofreading and copy editing are different jobs, in some areas the tasks overlap.
Proofreading involves correcting basic errors and ensuring a document is grammatically correct.
A proofreader checks:
- Basic grammar
- Numbers and dates
- Line breaks
- Font style and size
- Spacing between words and lines.
Copy editing includes all proofreading tasks and also looks at refining the writing – to ensure it is clear, concise, correct, comprehensive and consistent.
A copy editor checks:
- Consistency of style and layout
- Indentation and alignment
- Language and structure
- Widows and orphans
- Headers and footers, page numbers
- Table of contents.
Suggestions may be made about confusing language, repetitive words, discrepancies and consistency (e.g. capital letters, fonts and style). On websites, links are checked to ensure they are all working.
Expectations of the respective roles of proofreading and copy editing can differ and for this reason, to avoid any misunderstanding or disappointment, we will discuss your specific needs.
What I will not do as part of my job:
- Suggest changes to a plot
- Rewrite parts of your manuscript
- Offer an opinion about your writing
- Advise students if what they have written is factually incorrect (e.g. in assignments, etc.).